by Isabella @TheWandCarver
A new Celtic New Year is arriving and I’m here early to wish everyone a most blessed Samhain. It is a most somber time in our home as I ready myself and my ritual room for my All Hallow’s Eve hedge walk amongst my ancestors. I am always in great anticipation of this upcoming event but do not place expectations too high in my thoughts for that would put too much emphasis on the result rather than the journey… and the journey is always well worth taking at a savoury pace. There is everything to be learned.
Also, we have much to be grateful for here! My daughter is expecting her first child and my ninth grandchild in late March. She and her fiance are over the moon, as you would expect. For now we only call the baby “bump” but I predict “bump” is a girl… call it Nana’s intuition 🙂
Not to mention this is my favourite time of the year – the dark half. Not many people feel this way, I’m sure, but I love the early nights. I was born at night and have ever since been happiest in the darker hours of the day. It feels cosier, less hectic. When others are complaining about it becoming “night” at 4pm, I am embracing it. Surely I must have been an owl in a past life! Or, as I suspect, a cat, for they are most happy to prowl at dusk and early dawn.
This blog isn’t going to be full of witchcraft doings, I’m sorry. Just a solitary witch’s meanderings before the most important night of her year begins. It’s a night I live for – to be able to be in close contact with my ancestors and to feel their presence, their words, and to learn more about the people who made me. I would not be here without them, after all. And, they fill in many gaps for me in my genealogical pursuits.
I have been very fortunate in working out my genealogy. Having had a fairly good start working back from my parents through about ten generations was very helpful. Obviously it gets more difficult as you dig deeper, however, some lines were better preserved on paper than others. Those lines are always the ones of more affluence – Lords, Ladies, Barons, Dukes, Kings and Queens. Pedigrees were very commonly kept penned in the earliest of times with those but the commoner lines are harder to find unless you can hopefully find baptismal, marriage, and burial records from churches back in the day. Still, down the lines, I have been most fortunate although there are a few nuts I am finding hard to crack… no, I’m not calling my ancestors “nuts” but sometimes I think I am for taking on such a lengthy process! I have been at this for just about twenty years now. Thank Goddess for ancestors whom are willing to talk!
My Samhain hedge walk is not entirely about finding out more about who I am. It is more about the advice and wisdom of my long ago relatives. Through them I feel I know myself so much better and it is through knowing them better that I can see where my personality traits come. I see where even in royal lines witchcraft played a huge part and filtered down through the ages. I see where my eternally tenacious [some call it stubborn] temperment comes from. I can even see where my sometimes bloody mindedness comes from… don’t be scared… I keep that one well and truly in check, but yes, I can be.
Bloody mindedness: 1 : inclined towards violence or bloodshed. 2 chiefly British : stubbornly contrary or obstructive : cantankerous.
That is me in a nutshell 🙂 Cantankerous!
In a few hours I shall begin. I strongly encourage anybody whom has had a view to discovering their ancestry to give it a go. And, even more so, try contacting your ancestors on All Hallows Eve. If that isn’t your bag, the most important thing of all is to please honour them on this night. If you wish, a small ancestral altar is wonderful to do. Burn a white candle and some incense and just meditate on your gratefulness to them. I am sure they will be pleased.
beannachdan samhain as blàithe dha na h-uile a tha an dòigh seo a ’siubhal x